From go-karting sensations to Formula 1-ready racers, and all of the promising junior talent in between, we look at some of the newest prospects striving to make it to F1 and detail why, and where, you need be watching them.
Red Bull Junior Team
At least one seat at AlphaTauri is possibly available in 2021 and the young Red Bull-backed Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda is a prominent candidate. The 21-year-old has netted wins twice this season in Formula 2 and currently is third in the championship. Although his chances may have been hurt by Honda’s recent ruling to leave the sport at the end of 2021.
The young Estonian driver Jüri Vips is another highly rated member of the Red Bull Junior team, however he only joined the Formula 2 grid halfway through the 2020 season. He is unlikely to be called up to Formula 1 before gaining some more experience.
Other remarkable Red Bull prospects include Liam Lawson, an 18-year-old New Zealander who also has impressed with three wins in this year’s Formula 3 Championship as well as Indian driver Jehan Daruvala, who completed third in the same championship last year.
Swedish racing star Mathilda Olsson made it into Formula Scout’s list of the top karting talents with a very good title in the senior category of the Rotax Max Euro Trophy. This is a series that she had finished third in the year before.
Rotax Max is a spec-engine competitor category and the competition intensity is high in all of the major series. While the Euro Trophy wasn’t the highest level of events, it was won by Olsson in a classy style that built on lessons she had gleaned earlier in 2019.
Olsson started her year in the Rotax Euro Open at Genk, where she was on the pace, but a dud heat left her ninth on the grid for the first final. She charged through to second place, then repeated the result in race two.
Chadwick was the class of the field during the first two seasons of the W Series, while also being a Williams F1 development driver and debuting in the brand-new Extreme E series. A former British GT4 and MRF Challenge Formula 2000 champion, Chadwick also has experience in Formula Regional European, where she came ninth in 2020, as well as Euroformula Open and Asian F3.
Hedqvist was set for a big year before coronavirus’s pausing of proceedings when everyone stopped racing and enjoyed the best online pokies instead. She has come a long way since taking her first podium in a kart in 2016. Cecilia had the Backmans assisting her by then. Her results quickly improved after because she came third in the Junior 60 category of the North Sweden Cup the year after a number of seasons of restricted progress in the series. For 2018 she moved on up to OK and X30 junior karts and entered significant international competitions in addition to building her reputation at home.